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FBI Exhumes Body of Kansas Man Who Died Under Mysterious Circumstances to Determine If He Was Victim of Racially Motivated Crime In 2004

Federal investigators exhumed the body of Alonzo Brooks, a 23-year-old man whose mysterious death was recently featured on the Netflix reboot of “Unsolved Mysteries.”

The body was removed from a Topeka, Kansas, cemetery on Tuesday. U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesperson Jim Cross confirmed the dig occurred.

The FBI exhumed the body of Alonzo Brooks (above) to determine if he was the victim of a racially motivated crime. (Photo: FBI)

“I can confirm the body was exhumed today as part of the Brooks investigation,” Cross told People magazine.

On the night of April 3, 2004, Brooks’ attended a party at a farmhouse in La Cygne, Kansas, with friends. His friends left before he did, so he did not have a ride home. About 100 people attended the party, and Brooks was one of three Black men in attendance. He never made it home.

His family reported him missing the following day, and law enforcement conducted a search but they did not find anything. About a month later, Brooks’ body was recovered from a creek after his loved ones organized their own search.

An autopsy could not determine a cause of death due to the condition of his body.

The FBI opened a probe into the case last year. Last month, U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister and FBI Special Agent in Charge Timothy Langan announced the offer of a $100,000 reward in exchange for information that could lead to an arrest, according to an FBI press release.

“We are investigating whether Alonzo was murdered,” U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said during a June 11 news conference. “His death certainly was suspicious, and someone, likely multiple people, know what happened that night in April 2004. It is past time for the truth to come out. The code of silence must be broken. Alonzo’s family deserves to know the truth, and it is time for justice to be served.”

The FBI said death is being investigated as a “potential racially-motivated crime.”

“From the beginning, there were rumors that Brooks had been the victim of foul play. Some said Brooks may have flirted with a girl, some said drunken white men wanted to fight an African-American male, and some said racist whites simply resented Brooks’ presence,” the bureau said in the press release.

“After the party, two troubling facts were indisputable: Alonzo could not be found; and no one who attended the party would admit to knowing what happened to him.”

Maria Ramirez, Brooks’ mother, believes her son was targeted because of his race.

“I’m Mexican and his father is Black,” Ramirez told NBC News in June. “So, he’s mixed. They didn’t just target one race. Or kill one race. They killed two. He was targeted because of the color of his skin.”

Anyone with information about Brooks’ death should call the FBI at 816-512-8200 or 816-474-TIPS. Tips can also be submitted online.

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